“Cuccinelli may as well have this engraved on a plaque, hang it around his neck, and wear it for the rest of his life,” said the director of the ACLU’s immigrant rights project
Acting Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli is under fresh fire on Tuesday after telling NPR in an interview that the famous words engraved on the U.S. Statue of Liberty—based on the poem by Emma Lazarus—should be re-cast with a qualifier when it comes to the kinds of people arriving at the nation’s shores seeking refuge or welcome.
“Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge,” Cuccinelli responded after being asked by NPR’s “Morning Edition” host Rachel Martin if the Lazarus poem, titled “The New Colossus,” remains part of the American ethos under the Trump administration
Here’s acting USCIS director Ken Cuccinelli saying on NPR this morning that the Statue of Liberty plaque should be changed to read, “give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet, and who will not become a public charge.” pic.twitter.com/q8OoNn3k6r
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 13, 2019
His appearance on NPR came a day after Cuccunelli announced the administration was proposing new immigration rules that would require prospective green card applicants to show evidence that they would not likely require government assistance at any point in the future if they were granted foreign worker or permanent residency status.
As the audio from Cuccinelli’s Tuesday morning interview hit social media channels, outrage and condemnation immediately followed.
“Cuccinelli may as well have this engraved on a plaque, hang it around his neck, and wear it for the rest of his life,” tweeted Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project.
Vile and un-American.
Cuccinelli is a xenophobic, anti-immigrant fringe figure who has no business being in government. He is unqualified to run USCIS and could never be confirmed.
Its clear the Trump Administration just wants to keep certain people outhttps://t.co/HM25PUnHvc
— House Homeland Security Committee (@HomelandDems) August 13, 2019
This is absurd, historically inaccurate, ableist, and shockingly devoid of humanity and compassion. Someone get this guy a history book & a heart. https://t.co/QyKK4zDRSe
— Sofi Hersher (@sof) August 13, 2019
According to CBS News, the long-anticipated policy “would require caseworkers to consider the use of government housing, food, and medical assistance such as the widely-used Section 8 housing vouchers, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Medicare’s Part D prescription drug coverage” when examining permanent residency applications.
Per NPR on Tuesday:
Welfare benefits will be just one factor that immigration service officers use to determine an applicant’s fate in the United States, in addition to age, health, education and financial status.
“If they don’t have future prospects of being legal permanent residents without welfare, that will be counted against them,” Cuccinelli said.
“All immigrants who can stand on their own two feet, self-sufficient, pull themselves up by their bootstraps,” would be welcome, he added.
As Common Dreams reporting noted Monday, immigrant rights groups that denounced the plan when it was first unveiled in September raised fresh alarm and vowed to take legal action against the Trump administration to stop the rule, which is now set to take effect in 62 days.
Trump aides desperately try to downplay ‘order’ to US companies to leave China
Donald Trump's top aides on Sunday downplayed the idea of US companies being forced to abandon China any time soon, as an edict from the president ordering businesses to start looking for alternatives has been met with skepticism.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House economics advisor Larry Kudlow took to the airwaves from France, where Trump is participating in the G7 summit, to smooth out tensions in the business community prompted by Trump's Friday tweet.
Trump said he has "no plan now" to bring US companies in line, and his aides quickly reinforced the message.
Trump sparks confusion at G7 before doubling down on China tariffs
President Donald Trump doubled down Sunday on his hard line against China after sowing confusion with statements that he might be willing to soften a trade war G7 partners fear threatens the world economy.
At the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, Trump announced a major trade deal with Japan and promised more of the same with Britain, once Brexit is done.
But the positives were overshadowed by a mix-up over his apparent expression of regret for the latest escalation in the US-China dispute.
"I have second thoughts about everything," he conceded to reporters when asked if he regretted his decision on Friday to ramp up tariffs on all Chinese imports, worth some $550 billion, in retaliation for Beijing's earlier hike of levies on US goods.
Persecuted Christians eye long-sought freedom in Sudan
Sudan's Christians suffered decades of persecution under the regime of Islamist general Omar al-Bashir. Now they hope his downfall will give the religious freedom they have long prayed for.
Deep within the maze of dusty alleys that honeycomb Omdurman, Khartoum's sprawling twin city, Yousef Zamgila's church is not visible from the street.
It is hidden in the courtyard of a friend's home and consists of a few iron benches, a pulpit and crosses hastily painted on pillars holding a corrugated roof.
"The previous centre got destroyed because we didn't have the right papers. They always refused... So we use the land of our neighbours," says the Lutheran reverend.